ELF Extremists Claim Responsibility for Weekend Arson at Maryland Development Site

The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, Maryland, reported that it had received an e-mail claiming to be from Earth Liberation Front extremists claiming responsibility for a fire Sunday that destroyed recently built, unoccupied townhouses. The fire caused an estimated $225,000 in damages.

According to the Associated press, the e-mail sent to the newspaper read,

Last night we, the Earth Liberation Front, put the torch to a development of Ryan Homes in Hagerstown, Maryland (off of Route 40, behind the Wal-Mart). We did so to strike at the bottom line of this country’s most notorious serial land rapist. We warn all developers that the people of the Earth are prepared to defend what remains of the wild and the green. We encourage all who watch with sadness while developers sell out the future of us and our children to join us in resisting them in any and every possible way. The Ents are going to war.

The ELF claim has brought the FBI into the investigation of the arson.

This is apparently the first arson in Maryland claimed by the Earth Liberation Front.

Sources:

FBI Probes Claim That ELF Set Western Md. Fires. Associated Press, November 21, 2005.

Arson eyed in town house fires. Karen Hanna, The Herald-Mail (Hagerstown), November 21, 2005.

ALF Sends Threatening Letters to Dozens of British Construction and Decorating Firms

In October, police in Great Britain reported that Animal Liberation Front extremists mailed anonymous letters to dozens of construction and decorating companies warning them of dire consequences if they participated in Oxford University’s planned construction of a new research facility.

The letter warned companies that they would participate in the construction and design of the building “at your own peril.”

Animal Liberation Front spokesman Robin Webb approved of the letters, telling The Telegraph,

If they are supplying Oxford University in any way and through that helping the progress of the proposed facility then they can be considered a target.

Police had a different view. A police spokesman told The Press Association,

It is believed the letters are part of a campaign by animal rights extremists who are trying to prevent work by Oxford University to build new laboratories. Although everyone is entitled to an opinion about this very emotive issue, it is just not acceptable to act in a way which intimidates other people and threatens their livelihood.

Sources:

Animal rights group threatens builders over new Oxford labs. Rosie Murray-West, Telegraph, October 12, 2005.

Threats posted to Oxford lab contractors. Press Association, October 11, 2005.

Activists Hit Anna Wintour With Tofu Pie

Animal rights activists hit Vogue editor Anna Wintour with a tofu cream pie after she left a fashion show in Paris, France.

This is the second time this year that activists have hit Wintour with a pie, also hitting Wintour before a Chanel show in Paris.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was quick to condemn Wintour, with PETA’s Yvonne Taylor saying,

Wintour is fur-bearing animals’ worst enemy because her magazine continues to feature dozens of pages of pro-fur editorials and advertising every year. She takes big glossy advertisements for fur and she refuses to run any anti-fur ads, even paid ones, so she’s a big fur supporter.

Hmmm…I guess then it would be okay to throw things at Ingrid Newkirk because PETA does not accept pro-fur advertisements in any of its publications.

Source:

Anti-fur group cream pies American Vogue’s Wintour. Reuters, October 8, 2005.

Editor faces tofu fur fury. The Weekend Australian, October 10, 2005.

Alka Chandna: Animal Rights Activists Not Racists; So Why Do They Adopt Racist’s Tactics?

In an op-ed for Knight Ridder, Alka Chandna argues that simply because People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals compares animal agriculture to slavery does not mean that the group is racist. Then why do so many activists and groups, including PETA, support the tactics used by racists?

Chandna writes,

In the United States, the NAACP and others are now painting animal rights activists as white racists in order to marginalize and dismiss us. I can’t help but think that this sort of “analysis” that insists on painting a movement in a monochrome is the same pairing down of the world that people engage in when the truth makes them uncomfortable. Racists dismissed Martin Luther King as a womanizer. Colonists dismissed Gandhi as a short, brown main in a loin cloth. Sexists dismiss feminists as ugly, angry women.

Chandna’s invocation of King’s legacy is a bit odd. After all, King was famously arrested in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1960 when he joined other activists across the country in a sit-in at a restaurant that was whites. The example set by King and student activists who started the lunch counter sit-ins quickly led to the end of this racist, demeaning practice.

But I’m surprised Chandna would champion this, because if PETA is correct all King accomplished here was to allow blacks to oppress animals alongside whites. If we are to believe PETA, if King had actually been served at that restaurant in 1960, he would have been guilty of treating animals as slave holders treated his ancestors. King, who pushed racial equality in this country further than anyone since the Civil War, was himself apparently possessed of the same sort of mindset that led slaveholders to treat blacks as simply objects. (Many animal rights web sites note that King’s widow and one of his sons are currently vegans, but conveniently omit that King himself was not a vegetarian).

But Chandna’s main hypocrisy is decrying tactics that PETA and other activists regularly endorse. She writes of racist persecution of minorities,

My family immigrated to Canada from India when I was three. My teen years coincided with the height of “Paki-bashing” in Canada and I spent most Saturday and Sunday mornings cleaning egg from our doors and windows or examining, with my very hurt parents, racist “jokes” that had been spray painted onto our driveway.

. . .

I ask other people of color who have had their windows egged or experienced other forms of racism to stop condemning for a moment and to consider that what they are now saying about animals — that animals are lesser beings whose suffering can be dismissed — was once said about them and was used as an excuse to keep them in bondage.

The racist incidents that occurred in Chandna’s youth obviously pained her greatly, and she is right to condemn this sort of mindless violence. But, why does she work for an organization that endorses just such tactics.

How can she work along side Dan Mathews, who praised serial killer Andrew Cunanan for murdering Versace? How can she work for an organization that employs people like Gary Yourofsky who says he “unequivocally support” murder if it advanced the animal rights cause? Knowing how much the eggs thrown at her house traumatized her, how can she support PETA activists who encourage others to douse targets in fake blood or throw pies in the faces of their opponents?

Chandna asks minorities to consider how arguments that non-whites were lesser beings were used to oppress them, and then consider whether or not such arguments are at work in depicting animals as lesser beings. But how does she expect anyone to take her seriously when she complains about the horrors of violent acts carried out against her family while simultaneously representing an organization that advocates and encourages exactly those sorts of acts and much worse?

Source:

Are animal rights activists racist? Alka Chandna, Knight Ridder, October 2, 2005.

Animal Liberation Front Claims Responsibility for Attack on Home of GlaxoSmithKline Executive

In October, the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for Sept. 7 attack on the UK home of GlaxoSmithKline executive Paul Blackburn.

In an e-mail posted on animal rights extremists sites, the ALF claimed,

On the night of Weds 7th Sept we Brigade G of the Animal Liberation Front detonated a bomb on the doorstep of GlaxoSmithKline director Paul Blakburn, Beaconsfield, Bucks.

This contained 2 litres of fuel and 4 pounds of explosives. We did this because GSK is a customer of Huntingdon Life Sciences and GSK we realise that this may not be enough to make you stop using HLS, but GSK this is just the beginning.

We have identified and tracked down many of your senior executives and also junior staff, as well as those from other HLS customers.

Drop HLS or you will face the consequences. For all the animals inside HLS, we will be back.

Members of Blackburn’s family were in the home when the extremists ignited the incendiary device — so much for all that nonsense about ALF taking extreme care not to risk human lives.

The ALF also claimed responsibility for a September 23 attempted arson at a sports facility in Oxford.

Source:

Firebomb in Beaconsfield. Bucks Free Press, October 4, 2005.

Man Becomes First In UK Charged Under Laws Targeting Animal Rights Extremists

In October, Mark Taylor, 38, became the first person charged in the United Kingdom under new laws there designed to crack down on animal rights extremism.

Taylor was charged under a provision of the Serious and Organized Crime and Police Act of 2005 that targets those who interfere with contractual relationships so as to harm an animal research organization — i.e. harassing employees and companies who do business with animal research firms.

Taylor was charged with three such counts of interference with contractual relationships so as to harm an animal research organization, two counts of aggravated trespass, and one count of assault.

He was arrested back on July 16, 2005 after a protest at a company that is a supplier to Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Source:

Charge under animal research law. The BBC, October 5, 2005.